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X301 extremely slow BIOS start

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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vinuneuro
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X301 extremely slow BIOS start

#1 Post by vinuneuro » Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:27 pm

My X301 is running the latest BIOS. It's basically doing the same thing as this guy's:

http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=X7MTRcMD0 ... re=related

Is this a known problem? Is there a solution?

Thanks.

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Re: X301 extremely slow BIOS start

#2 Post by vinuneuro » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:07 pm

Update: Now the machine won't boot at all. Just a blank screen.

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Re: X301 extremely slow BIOS start

#3 Post by rkawakami » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:41 pm

A couple of questions and then some advice...

Q: Was the system running normally before?
Q: Assuming that the answer is "Yes", was there anything done to it right before it starting slowing down? By this I mean any new hardware or software installed?

Given that your system now has a blank screen, here's what I would do:

- Remove all hardware from the system that plugs into a socket; memory, hard drive, wireless cards, optical drive, etc. and then try to power it up. If you get a "no memory" beep code, typically 1-3-3-1, then that would indicate that the motherboard is mostly okay.
- If no beep code, then the motherboard has some sort of problem. Double-check that you've removed all of the
- Re-install one memory module (if you have two). Boot the system again and see what happens.
- Note whether or not the system boots normally. Shut it off and then move the module into the other slot and boot again.
- Again, assuming that everything is working right and you have a second memory module, remove the first module and install just the second. Boot the system a third time. As before, note how the system acts and then move the module to the opposite slot.
- What you are trying to do is verify that the modules are good and that both memory slots are working.
- Once you have determined if there's any problem with the memory module(s) or slots, and assuming that you do find a combination that allows the system to boot (at all, even if it is slow), then I would run the PC Doctor for DOS diagnostic program. You can find the one for the X301 here:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-69537 (.ISO file for burning onto a CD-R)

Download the file onto any working computer with a CD burner able to handle the .ISO image file (you can't simply copy the .ISO file onto the blank disk; use a program like CDBurnderXP). Create the bootable CD and then re-install the optical drive in the X301 and boot the system with the PC Doctor disk. Execute at least the tests for the system board, memory and disk interface. There's probably some other ones under Thinkpad Devices and/or Interactive tests that would be helpful as well.

edit: Ignore my advice about testing out both slots with only one module installed. The X301 requires that you populate SLOT_0 before SLOT_1.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

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Re: X301 extremely slow BIOS start

#4 Post by 6502kiwi » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:34 pm

I had similar symptoms once after changing intel amt settings on an x201

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Re: X301 extremely slow BIOS start

#5 Post by vinuneuro » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:03 pm

Thanks for your post Ray. That's pretty comprehensive and should be stickied somewhere.

I had done a BIOS update to latest one. It was now taking a very long time to boot, and google revealed that other owners had the same problem after upgrading to previous versions too.

http://forum.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Thi ... d-p/150931

So tried I the solution that worked for everyone else in that thread which was to pull and reinstall the cmos battery. It's been dead ever since. Before doing that I had disabled AMT and some stuff in bios like Wireless USB and WWAN that I wasn't using.

-Removing everything you suggested didn't make any difference. No beeps.
-I tried turning it on after removing each component. The only significant one was that after the optical drive was pulled, the hard drive light stayed on solid.
-Tried a different CMOS battery.
-With all the suggested components out, I tried removing any static that might cause such an issue by pushing the power button ten times and then holding for 30sec on the eleventh. That didn't work either.
-Fan turns on after about 30sec even in this state.
-Thinkvantage button light is on in addition to power and battery lights (if it's installed).

I received the laptop yesterday and this failure happened within an hour of using it. There something weird happening right from the moment I turned it on that might be related. A popping sound would come from the front of the laptop around the power button area, two or three times while it was booting up. Was that probably ominous?

This laptop is new but not under warranty. It's a pre-production demo unit. I'm going to send it back tomorrow in hopes that the seller is cooperative.

Kiwi, I had recently turned off AMT as mentioned above before the failure. What happened with you X201 in the end?

Thanks for both your help.

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